Chloris gayana is a perennial, robust, strongly vigorous grass native to Africa that has been extensively introduced as forage across tropical and subtropical regions. Its traits such as the ability to grow in a wide range of environmental conditions, its drought-resistance and its ability to rapidly reproduce both by seeds and vegetatively have facilitated its escape from cultivation and subsequent naturalization.
Chloris gayana has a root system that can extract water to a depth of >4 m. Therefore, its drought tolerance is high and it can survive in areas with a 6-month dry season.
It also tolerates seasonal waterlogging and plants can survive flooding for up to 15 days
Seed rate: broadcasting, seed (15-20 kg/ha)
Maturity: The stand begins to produce valuable forage within 6 months, though the highest yield is obtained during the second year of cultivation.
Chloris gayana can grow on a wide range of soils, including sandy soils, loams and clays. It grows best in well-drained soils with pH between about 5.5 and 7.5 (but tolerates pH 4.5 and up to 10). This species does not tolerate soils with high manganese and has poor shade tolerance, but it tolerates saline soils and can be irrigated with water that may be too saline for other species.
Crude protein levels of Rhodes grass vary with age of material and level of available nitrogen, and may range from 17% on a (Dry matter basis) in very young leaf, to 3% in old leaves. Phosphorus levels in the dry matter also vary with age of material and available soil phosphorus, and may range from 0.4% in young growth to 0.1% in older material.
Young growth is very palatable, but after the plants have seeded, they are less attractive. Rhodes grass can carry about 1-4 animals/ha depending on pasture productivity. Annual live weight gains of up to 100 kg/head is achievable. Production declines without a vigorous legume or the use of fertilizer nitrogen.
1 Kg First Class
1 Kg 2nd Class
1 Kg 3rd Class
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